Introducing Paxton's body philosophy reinterpreting the frameworks of various physical sensation and action in a fusion of contemporary dance and art.
Dancer/choreographer Steve Paxton, a leading figure in American post-modern dance, and initiator of the contact improvisation method, showed a high-quality video installation juxtaposing know-how related to media technology-based physical expression cultivated at YCAM, and Paxton's original method that continues to exert significant influence on the current contemporary dance scene. The work served as an introduction to Paxton's body philosophy and the present state of physical/spatial expression in general.
In addition, demonstrations and talk sessions with the artist himself, as well as lectures by invited experts were held during the exhibition period with the aim to comprehensively re-examine Paxton's work from the contexts of social and historical circumstances in the 1960s.
Steve Paxton + Florence Corin (Contredanse) + Baptiste Andrien (Contredanse)
Discover new physical sensations by abandoning yourself to a space completely filled with images
Steve Paxton collaborated with two Belgian video artists, Florence Corin and Baptiste Andrien, to create this video installation as a form of high-quality physical/spatial expression.
"Material for the Spine" is a method for exploring the center of the body that Paxton has been developing since 1986. The installation consists of five large screens showing a mixture of video footage of Paxton and other performers moving based on this system; computer-generated images analyzing those dance moves; and Paxton's own poetically rhythmical narration. Entirely surrounded by images, visitors can discover here a new form of physical sensation by perceiving with all their senses the relationship between the human body and gravity, the body's interior and exterior, and the structure of its bones.
- Production: Contredanse
Lecture + Dance Demonstration
The artist himself gave a dance demonstration in the same exhibition space where the "Phantom Exhibition" is on view, so visitors had the unique opportunity to witness how Paxton's ﬂesh-and-blood movement overlap with those on the screens.
In this lecture, Kikuko Toyama discussed Steve Paxton's activities and their meaning against the social backdrop of the genre-straddling experimental endeavors in art, dance, music in the America of the 1950s-60s. Touching on such topics as the Judson Dance Theater among others, Toyama traced the genealogy of the current art and contemporary dance scene with a focus on influences from eastern thought, and the resulting rediscovery of the body as an elemental medium that affects human consciousness.
The lecture was followed by a talk session with Paxton himself and Fujiko Nakaya, an artist who had experienced first-hand the developments in the art scene of the time. They talked about their respective careers, previous works and creation processes.
Steve Paxton "Material for the Spine"
- "Introduction" (translated by Takawo Kawaguchi)
- "Dance Culture" (translated by Takawo Kawaguchi)
- "Spherical Space" (translated by Takawo Kawaguchi)
Through the tours, participants discovered together with YCAM educational staff, most attractive features of the exhibition. (13 times during the event period)
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi City Board of Education
- DANCE DOCUMENTS JAPAN COMMITTEE (DDJC)
- Japan-United States Friendship Commission
- Asian Cultural Council
- The SAISON Foundation
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]